Theories of the nuclear family (Marxist and functionalists)

Marxist and functionalist

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What was Engels theory of the nuclear family?
The N.F allows husbands to control their wives to produce sons
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What was Zaretsky's theory of the nuclear family?
The N.F produces the next generation of workers / consumes the good of capitalism / acts as a safety valve for male frustration
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What was Coopers theory of the nuclear family?
The N.F is to reinforce the ruling class ideology and creates a false class consciousness to the proletariat.
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what are the strengths of the Marxists theory?
Identifies dysfunctions within the family e.g domestic violence / links the individual to the structure of society through the ruling class ideology / identifies benefits for the family through capitalism
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What are the weaknesses of the Marxist theory?
The N.F was found before capitalism so how can it be designed to support it / ignores family diversity by criticising the N.F / the validity of the theory rests on whether capitalism is negative on society.
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What was murdocks theory of the nuclear family?
The N.F has four functions: sexual control, primary socialisation, economic support and reproduction which are ideal, universal and benefit both the individual and society.
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What are the weaknesses of murdocks theory?
The theory is outdated / families differ from culture to culture
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What is parsons theory of the nuclear family?
The family has given away certain functions and left to specialise in certain functions (STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIATION).
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Two functions by Parsons
Primary socialisation: a child can only become an adult when they understand the shared norms and values of that society. The N.F is seen as a "personal factory"
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Two functions by parsons
Stabilisation of adult personalities: "warm bath theory" - the individual can be themselves providing a warm, stable environment (the N.F)
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strengths of the functionalist theory
Explains benefits of the family for society and the individual / connects the family to other social institutions (nurseries & schools) / shows the shared norms and values of a society
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Weaknesses of the functionalist theory
Ignore dysfunctions within the family / ignores class and cultural differences / sexist - ignored diversity of roles
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Similarities between the Marxist and the functionalist theories
Family acts as a safety valve / both sexist / both ignore family diversity
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Differences between the Marxists and the functionalist theories
Functionalists don't identify dysfunctions / functionalist believe N.F benefits society, Marxists believe the N.F benefits the bourgeoisie / Functionalist see the N.F as positive and Marxist see is as negative
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FUNCTIONALISTS
Reproduction of next generation / sexual control / economic support / primary socialisation / stabilisation of adult personalities
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MARXISTS
Reproduction of the next generation of workers / inheritance of private property / consumes the goods of capitalism / transmission of ruling class ideology / safety valve
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How have the functions changed - REPRODUCTION
Declined - women choosing careers before children. Some reproduction happening outside the N.F
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SEXUAL CONTROL
sex outside of marriage is now the norm / decline in religion / better contraception // private property still passed on to next generation
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ECONOMIC SUPPORT
Family still needs the support definitely with higher education and rising house prices
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SOCIALISATION
Nurseries, schools, peer groups and the media challenge the N.F as the main provider of socialisation or ruling class ideology to children
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STABILISING PERSONALITIES
high % of marriages end in divorce - high % of these remarry. Dysfunctions within the family e.g domestic violence / role of the women have changed.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The N.F produces the next generation of workers / consumes the good of capitalism / acts as a safety valve for male frustration

Back

What was Zaretsky's theory of the nuclear family?

Card 3

Front

The N.F is to reinforce the ruling class ideology and creates a false class consciousness to the proletariat.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Identifies dysfunctions within the family e.g domestic violence / links the individual to the structure of society through the ruling class ideology / identifies benefits for the family through capitalism

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The N.F was found before capitalism so how can it be designed to support it / ignores family diversity by criticising the N.F / the validity of the theory rests on whether capitalism is negative on society.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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